Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Bow type


aksockeye
 Share

Recommended Posts

Who do you think produces better quality bows?

#1 design/ which model/ why?

#2 value/ best stick for the price?

#3 old stick/ which would you prefer?

The reason that I posted this is because nobody seems to talk about bows.

I realize a subtle difference between my wood /carbon fiber bow!

Both are around $700 trade. The wood resonates better. The C/F plays more consistently.

Why is the bow ignored?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The reason that I posted this is because nobody seems to talk about bows.

I realize a subtle difference between my wood /carbon fiber bow!

Both are around $700 trade. The wood resonates better. The C/F plays more consistently.

Why is the bow ignored?

I think you could find a good German or even Chinese stick that plays as well as a very expensive french bow if you

look hard enough. Stay with wood rather than carbon fiber unless you're playing lots of col legno, outdoors, or need to hit your stand partner with some frequency. The amount of money you pay does not, in my experience, mean all that much with bows. I have a German factory bow with no commercial value which plays better than some bows I've tried worth over 10 grand. I bought it for $149.

With bows it's not the pen it's the penmanship. Oistrakh and Kreisler used Nurnbergers; they did fairly well with them I think. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you could find a good German or even Chinese stick that plays as well as a very expensive french bow if you

look hard enough. Stay with wood rather than carbon fiber unless you're playing lots of col legno, outdoors, or need to hit your stand partner with some frequency. The amount of money you pay does not, in my experience, mean all that much with bows. I have a German factory bow with no commercial value which plays better than some bows I've tried worth over 10 grand. I bought it for $149.

With bows it's not the pen it's the penmanship. Oistrakh and Kreisler used Nurnbergers; they did fairly well with them I think. :)

I will never be able to try 10 grand bows!! I bend my knee.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bows are so subjective and bow making is even more a 'black art' than violin making. For my taste, I have been very impressed with the top line carbon fiber bows. There are some qualities about carbon-carbon, that dependng on who you believe (shodul bows resonate or should they be well damped)that may make them a superior material for a bow. I have not bought a composite bow because I am happy with my current pernumbucco bows (an H. R. Pfretzschner, a Nurnberger, and a custom makde Frank V. Henderson for my viola. A student of mine showed up with a $350 Coda bow that was very superior on my violin to the Pfretzner and the Nurnberger. However I've heard that Coda bows have a problem with breakage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will never be able to try 10 grand bows!! I bend my knee.

Well...just tried these out in a shop. I worked in a bow maker's shop as a clerk

when I was in school. There's some pretty expensive bows out there! I mean when

you get into gold and tortoise shell Tourtes or the Dominique Peccattes, etc. Not to

mention the jeweled bows of Henry Kaston, etc., etc.

Big $$$$$$. Deep pockets needed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will never be able to try 10 grand bows!! I bend my knee.

Trying an expensive bow ain't nothin'. Just walk into the shop when they're not busy and ask politely.

Bows get talked about a lot! And I disagree with

steverino: I think one would have to look very hard indeed to find a cheapo bow that plays as well as a fine bow. Obviously, it could happen, but it seems much more unlikely to me than you made it sound. Is your $150 bow really better than some $10,000 sticks you've tried? Were they terrible? Haven't you also played $10,000 bows that blew your stick out of the water? In my experience, I'll occasionally play a cheaper bow and like it (though never in the $150 price range). And I'll occasionally play a bow double or triple (or quadruple or quintuple) the value of my own and think it's trash.

DR.S: I find bows less subjective than instruments.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trying an expensive bow ain't nothin'. Just walk into the shop when they're not busy and ask politely.

Bows get talked about a lot! And I disagree with

steverino: I think one would have to look very hard indeed to find a cheapo bow that plays as well as a fine bow. Obviously, it could happen, but it seems much more unlikely to me than you made it sound. Is your $150 bow really better than some $10,000 sticks you've tried? Were they terrible? Haven't you also played $10,000 bows that blew your stick out of the water? In my experience, I'll occasionally play a cheaper bow and like it (though never in the $150 price range). And I'll occasionally play a bow double or triple (or quadruple or quintuple) the value of my own and think it's trash.

DR.S: I find bows less subjective than instruments.

You're right Lyndon, I suppose it was an oversimplification.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Who do you think produces better quality bows?

#1 design/ which model/ why?

#2 value/ best stick for the price?

#3 old stick/ which would you prefer?

Would you be able to narrow down these questions to some specifics?

Just a few comments on a the synthetics.

Because of the lack of pernambuco, any innovations in this area are exciting and worth examining. Coda, Berg, Rolland/Spiccato/JPaul (sorry to group these), among others have produced bows that over the past 10-15 years evolved and improved quickly. The principals have worked very hard and are expanding the market which is exciting. On the whole, the quality is good as are the dimensions, weights, flex/response.

I own a few to loan out to kids who have very bad right hand control. These bows do a great job of resisting twisting, and because they are "straight" or straighter, the process of correcting various problems have a more predictable (but not necessarily reliable) outcomes.

Anyway, for those teachers who have students buying the newer, lesser names, or "generic" synthetic bows: be sure to test them out under tension and check for response. Some are excellent at a favorable price, but many do twist or bend/give in strange places. Given a price point, no bow is perfect unless it comes with Jascha's hand and arm attached, so weigh the acceptable compromises.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you think produces better quality bows?

Took the liberty of changing your question from 'who' to "what'.

And I suggest (leaving synthetics and hybrids out of the equation for the moment)

- wood firstly

- beyong model, age or finishing.

If violin makers can carve a good instrument out of less than perfect wood plates,

(while admitting that the craftsman's experience and talent can maximise the qualities of the materials)

I think that might be more difficult with a bow blank ....?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are so many styles of playing, would any specific response be generalizing to too great a degree? On wiid sticks, given that everything works on the bow, I check a few areas for measurements.

As a classical music player, there isn't a great deal of agreement from players, but me thinks that the diameter of the stick (top to bottom), right behind the head is very important. This can be independent of the relation to the belly of the bow, but an instant eye-balling the belly of the bow gives an idea of the density and stiffness. Granted, I play with a great deal of finger motion, staccato or no. If I remember Auer's text correctly, fingers are not mentioned - only wrist - in the staccato section. Also his description of the legato bow and the use of term "sons file" for sustained tones is dated.

Anyway, if this area is too thin, the bow to me, feels sluggish - like a big car with too soft a suspension (under dampt). Consequently as silky as the bow may feel, there might not be any guts.

If it is too thick, there is no "feel" in the hands, and it appears that my fingers are doing an awful lot of work at the bow changes. There is no suspension, and also these "thick neck" bows create a bit more noise.

If it is just the right thickness, different rosin-types make musical sense, the spiccatos from the string bounce up, and the "clarity" (not necessarily the smoothness - the player supplies this) of bow changes can be astounding.

Oded's topic on tool marks on top of the instrument was eye opening, because for some years I presumed that the better bowmakers were tweaking the bows after they were assembled. The undercut behind the head of quite a few fine playing bows were not always perfect (despite having beautifully even knife marks up into the curve) as there was a danger in scraping/cutting off too much material? Or for appearances?

OK, there is so much to love in many of the French bows of so many generations (they definitely have personality), but am astounded at how many Hill (& Sons) bows that do so many things entirely, so well, at significantly less than the modern French stars. Round sticks no less! At my age, it's too much work to compensate for the odd-ideosyncracies of an epic bow. But I'm pretty confident in my personal choices and have grown to love american made bows, and would rather have 3 newer american bows over one affordable older French.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...